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External Pressure Can Accelerate China's Opening Up, Liu He Says

© Reuters.  External Pressure Can Accelerate China's Opening Up, Liu He Says© Reuters. External Pressure Can Accelerate China's Opening Up, Liu He Says

(Bloomberg) -- China’s chief trade negotiator said that the “external pressures” the nation is facing now can help it open up the economy to the outside world.

“Right now we do face some external pressures, but they are the necessary test for China’s economic restructuring and upgrading,” Vice Premier Liu He said at the Lujiazui Forum in Shanghai on Thursday. Until talks broke down last month, Liu served as China’s chief negotiator in trade talks with the U.S.

“China will further speed up reform and opening up, especially on market access, fair competition and protection of property, especially intellectual property,” he said.

A Group of 20 meeting in Osaka at the end of this month where Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are due to meet is looming as a high-stakes chance to defuse the trade war between the two nations. Liu, in line with other officials, is signaling that they won’t be deflected from their policy aims even if the tariff conflict escalates.

“No matter what occurs temporarily, the long-term positive momentum for China’s economy will not be changed,” Liu said.

People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang spoke after Liu on Thursday, though he didn’t comment on monetary policy or the yuan. Last week Yi said that there’s “tremendous room” for policy to be adjusted if the trade standoff worsens.

China is seeking to encourage international investors to become more involved in its financial sector, and is heavily promoting Shanghai as the place for that activity to be centered on the mainland. The government has removed some limits on foreign ownership of financial institutions as well as taking steps to ensure local bonds can be bought by global funds.

In recent months, authorities have approved plans by JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM)., UBS Group AG and Nomura Holdings Inc. to take majority stakes in local securities ventures.

Yi Gang said Shanghai, mainland China’s financial capital, should be a center for financial technology and “provide a world-class business environment.” The city should also be a risk-management center for yuan-denominated financial assets, he said. Hedging tools are a key requirement for international investors.

Even amid a slowing growth outlook, incoming economic data signal a degree of stability. Credit growth picked up in May, according to data released Wednesday, showing that stimulus measures to stem the economic slowdown are continuing to have an impact.

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